Discussion on how to buff wizards.

Hello everoyne, as many sensible people now know, Wizards are bad. Wizards at low level are basically useless in a party. Low level damage, have to long rest after basically every single encounter to be useful, die very easily, and lacking anything to do when their spells are down.

My suggestions:


  1. Include an intelligence modifier to cantrips. Maybe doubling at a certain level (I'm thinking level 4 would be a fair and balanced level.)

  2. Vastly increase the amount of low level spells a wizard can cast. (By level 4 wizards should be able to cast a level 1 spell every round of combat almost.)

  3. Make cantrips stronger without making low level spells obsolete.


Alternatively:



  •  Get rid of the current spellcasting system.

All they need is more spell slots. Cantrips would be too powerful with an ability mod. They should have to rely on their actual spells to deal more damage.
All they need is more spell slots. Cantrips would be too powerful with an ability mod. They should have to rely on their actual spells to deal more damage.



In this case, I would recommend giving them some sort of magical damage dice so that their damage is on par with a fighter or barbarians.
I would recommend a damage increase to their spells, until they do as much damage as the fighter's basic attack for that level. So, for example, a fireball should deal damage equal to a level 5 fighter using a greatsword + Martial Damage Dice; while meteor swarm would deal damage equal to a level 17 fighter using a greatsword + Martial Damage Dice. Let the ability to hit multiple targets balance out the once-per-day limitation, so the wizard remains the best at dealing with groups but isn't strictly inferior (merely endurance-limited) against a single target.

Then, wizard at-will damage should be bumped up to about 80% of fighter at-will damage. You could just improve cantrip damage, though personally I am a fan of giving them +Martial Damage and letting them go to town with a staff or darts.
The metagame is not the game.
A Wizard should NOT deal as much damage as a melee fighter, the biggest difference being that melee comes with the innate risk of being in the front lines, taking all the damage

Wizards at will damage should be around slightly less than what a ranged fighter or ranged rogue can output, as they carry the same reduced risks as you do

Next Wizard at will damage should be LESS then them, because their primary task should be AoE damage and utility from using powerful limited usage spells, and they are still the kings of AoE damage

The problem is not exactly that wizards aren't hitting hard enough, its that melee damage is too high at the moment


A Wizard should NOT deal as much damage as a melee fighter, the biggest difference being that melee comes with the innate risk of being in the front lines, taking all the damage

Wizards at will damage should be around slightly less than what a ranged fighter or ranged rogue can output, as they carry the same reduced risks as you do

Next Wizard at will damage should be LESS then them, because their primary task should be AoE damage and utility from using powerful limited usage spells, and they are still the kings of AoE damage

The problem is not exactly that wizards aren't hitting hard enough, its that melee damage is too high at the moment



+1 to all of this.


A Wizard should NOT deal as much damage as a melee fighter, the biggest difference being that melee comes with the innate risk of being in the front lines, taking all the damage

Wizards at will damage should be around slightly less than what a ranged fighter or ranged rogue can output, as they carry the same reduced risks as you do

Next Wizard at will damage should be LESS then them, because their primary task should be AoE damage and utility from using powerful limited usage spells, and they are still the kings of AoE damage

The problem is not exactly that wizards aren't hitting hard enough, its that melee damage is too high at the moment




+1. Before they do anything to wizards we need to see what the martial classes look like after the next packet. Then we can start comparing power. Right now, martial classes are scheduled for some very major changes. MDD will become WDD. The overall damage dealt by martial classes will be nerfed. Meanwhile, the entire system of powers used by fighter`s is about to change. Considering the very valid points raised by the post I just quoted, once we see those changes take effect wizard`s might not need any buffs. 



A Wizard should NOT deal as much damage as a melee fighter, the biggest difference being that melee comes with the innate risk of being in the front lines, taking all the damage

Wizards at will damage should be around slightly less than what a ranged fighter or ranged rogue can output, as they carry the same reduced risks as you do

Next Wizard at will damage should be LESS then them, because their primary task should be AoE damage and utility from using powerful limited usage spells, and they are still the kings of AoE damage

The problem is not exactly that wizards aren't hitting hard enough, its that melee damage is too high at the moment




+1. Before they do anything to wizards we need to see what the martial classes look like after the next packet. Then we can start comparing power. Right now, martial classes are scheduled for some very major changes. MDD will become WDD. The overall damage dealt by martial classes will be nerfed. Meanwhile, the entire system of powers used by fighter`s is about to change. Considering the very valid points raised by the post I just quoted, once we see those changes take effect wizard`s might not need any buffs. 




Agreed. I'd rather see the warriors' power lowered than the casters' raised, and that might just be what we get when the next packet comes out two years from now.
I have to admit, I am surprised that they are clinging to, what is essentially the 3.0 spellcasting system.

D&DN seems to be using 3.X as its springboard, but there is a great opportunity here to really retool the way spells are cast.

The "spells per day" economy is okay, but it isn't flexible and it comes with all of the same old problems.  Couple that with spells that scale less than ever, and you will end up with a lot of useless spell slots by the time you hit lvl 9 spells.  

Some other resource used to manage spell casting would be really welcome in my view... and then the tactical management of that resource (whether it refreshed on a per encounter basis or after short or even long rests) could govern all of the damage scaling issues.  Class features could add daily boosts, metamagic effects, etc..

The power scaling of magic has regularly come up as a point of concern across all editions of D&D.  If you are giving physical classes a resource like MDD, why not extend that same courtesy to casters?  It doesn't need to be a dice pool exactly, but something dynamic and easily quantifiable.  

The strategic and tactical ramifications could be a wonderful thing to play with, and its not like a spellcasting resource is a stretch.  I would also love to see ways to push that resource even further, draining the very health of the caster....

Just using nerfed versions of 3.0 spells that don't scale..... is not very appealing.  And furthermore, for any Wizard fans, there is nothing being offered by D&D Next at this point in time. 
Currently, a wizard's spells are essentially a customizable list of once-per-day abilities. Why not change this up a bit?


I could see an alternative approach that keeps spell selection the same, but gradually changes spells from once-per-day to once-per-encounter, and eventually to at-will like a cantrip. As an example, your highest two spell levels accessable could operate as once-per-day abilities, the next two spell levels accessable could operate once-per-encounter, while any spell levels below would function like a cantrip.
I would alter Cantrip Damage to be 1d8 + Mod (maybe 1d6 if they severly reduce the Martial Damage as promised). I generally feel that, damage wise, a spell should be about the damage of a regular attack of equal level fighter for area of effect, and double that for single/limited targets. Considering the limited (daily) usage, this seems right to me. An option I like would be to allow high level wizards (11+) regain low level spell slots (1st, mabye 2nd) during a short rest instead of healing.

I would accept any boost for the wizard, as they are BY FAR the worst class. For Encounters we are going to use the Next conversion. I was helping people make characters (I was assigned people who wanted to play Clerics and Wizards), and we started with about 5 of 30 people wanted to play a wizard. After working on making them, all but one gave up on the wizard to play something else. The one guy eventually gave up when his buddy made an Arcanist Cleric that did everything he did but better. Not a good sign, IMO.

I was originally going to comment "good luck keeping the trolls away," but I see I'm too late =)
Remember 1 huge fact everyone. Spellcasters, Wizards especially, have to be designed with a little leway in damage due to the fact that they are so versitile. If Wizards had to choose spells and were never able to switch them out, a la 4e, they wouldn't need to balance it that way. But since they are allowed to switch spells each day, it's a little understandable that Wizards deal a little less damage than other, more permanant choice classes.
My two copper.
Remember 1 huge fact everyone. Spellcasters, Wizards especially, have to be designed with a little leway in damage due to the fact that they are so versitile. If Wizards had to choose spells and were never able to switch them out, a la 4e, they wouldn't need to balance it that way. But since they are allowed to switch spells each day, it's a little understandable that Wizards deal a little less damage than other, more permanant choice classes.



I don't understand this argument. How is this a defense?

Assume you have Character A who has three attacks, one that does 200 damage, two that do 100 damage, and three that do 50 damage, but all can only be done 1/day.

Then you have character B, who has one attack that does 100 damage, but can be used infinitely.

Once per day Character A can be superior to Character B, but after that everything he can do is equal to or inferior to Character B. Yes, versatility is an important consideration, but the options should still be held to a certain standard.

In any case, damage isn't the only concern here. The Fighter, Wizard, and Cleric (and to a lesser extent, the Rogue) all look really incomplete compared to the Barbarian and Monk. Those two get a dozen class features by level 20, and the wizard gets NONE.

Even if you admit that versatility should be factored into the wizard's power-level (and I agree it should), it's still no excuse for the Wizard having no incentive whatsoever to continue leveling after 17, and even then, you only get one extra spell slot per level after level 12, which, incidentally, is also a dead level.


Move them from spell levels to points, or at least add some fluidity to spell levels.
A whole bunch of low-level spells can be far more useful than one really big one.
Remember 1 huge fact everyone. Spellcasters, Wizards especially, have to be designed with a little leway in damage due to the fact that they are so versitile. If Wizards had to choose spells and were never able to switch them out, a la 4e, they wouldn't need to balance it that way. But since they are allowed to switch spells each day, it's a little understandable that Wizards deal a little less damage than other, more permanant choice classes.



Sorry, but no. Those "permanent choice" classes get to use all of those abilities at-will. Wizards don't. The only abilities wizards get to use at-will are their cantrips, and those are permanent choices. Wizards also have other drawbacks to balance their versatility. The flexibility of changing their spells, for example, is balanced by the need for a spellbook that costs a great deal of money and can be lost/stolen/destroyed. You can never take away a fighter's maneuvers, but you can rob a wizard of his spellbook. Yeah, smart wizards will have a backup spellbook, but that costs EVEN MORE money, money other classes get to spend on things like magic items and other goodies.

And then there's the simple fact that if damage-dealing spells suck, wizards will never use them. They'll use things like charm person and hold monster instead. It isn't okay for some wizard spells to be flat out better than others of the same level. If a burning hands doesn't contribute as much to a battle as a charm person spell, then no wizard will ever bother to use burning hands. A wizard already gets less than half as many spells per day in this edition as he did before. Is it so much to ask that those few daily spells actually be impressive?

In any case, damage isn't the only concern here. The Fighter, Wizard, and Cleric (and to a lesser extent, the Rogue) all look really incomplete compared to the Barbarian and Monk. Those two get a dozen class features by level 20, and the wizard gets NONE.

Even if you admit that versatility should be factored into the wizard's power-level (and I agree it should), it's still no excuse for the Wizard having no incentive whatsoever to continue leveling after 17, and even then, you only get one extra spell slot per level after level 12, which, incidentally, is also a dead level.


The completeness of a class isnt determined by the amount of class features they gain as they level

Monk class features are the same as they were in 3.5
Barbarian gained a few things, but it doesnt make it more complete than Rogue or Fighter
Fighter especially seems like it gained the most amount of class features compared to his 3.5 version, and is to me much more complete than Barbarian or Monk

Wizard gains spells as class features
The biggest threat to 5e is probably pathfinder. So basing Wizards and clerics (to a less extend) on a watered down system of what PF improved on is really beyond my understanding. Conservatism or not I wouldnt get far if I tried to sell a steampowered calculator and called it Computer Next.

Theyve done great with blowing new life in to martial characters. The casters need neither a buff nor nerf... they need a rethink and a new breath of life...and that goes for the spells too by the way.
 
1)  Wizards do not need to be 'buffed' past level seven or so. 
2)  Wizards are very weak at level 1, with their weakness gradually decreasing as they gain levels from there.


COnclusion:  The fix should be something which only affects their power at the low levels without making them appreciably more powerful at higher levels.

Suggestion:  Their at-will spells need to be made more 'powerful'.

That said - more 'powerful' does not necessarily mean more damage.

It means - better at what the wizard does already.

It means - they shoud have more at-will to choose from and those at-will spells should apply effects to their targets based upon the nature of the spell.

A cold spell might immobilize if the creature fails it save.
An electrical spell might cause them to drop their weapon or momentarily daze them.
A fire spell might do a bit of ongoing damage.
Etc.
(Also note:  Some status effects are more useful than others.  The specific damage dealt by the cantrip can be used to balance this somewhat).
Some of the cantrips may even be useable on an ally to assist them in some way (a one round haste effect that lets them move further on their turn, etc.)


The idea is to give the wizard player some genuine tactical decisions to make.  If they only have one attack cantrip - they don't have a lot of choices to make.  If they have multiple cantrips to choose from - they get to 'play more' in that they are making useful and important choices each round even when, as a low level wizard, they only have two or three daily spells to use all day long.

Carl
Hey folks,

I did a bit of editing and deleting. All viewpoints are welcome in our forums as long as they are on topic and respectful. If you encounter a post that you feel violates the Code of Conduct, please report that post.


Thanks,

Monica
Before status effects are introduced, I feel that the current status effects need to be rebalanced and clarified. I totally support something like a disarming mechanic in a spell (slippery grease spray!), but currently, disarming a weapon has no negative consequences. According to the current combat rules, reaching down and picking up your dropped weapon can be performed as part of your action.

Similarly, being knocked prone only consumes 5 feet of movement, which is hardly a penalty at all.

I think the wizard should be versatile to do whatever the player wants to do. If he wants to do major single-target damage, he should be able to. Area-effects, sure. Conditions, sure. Utilities, Some combination of the previous, sure. The only limitation should be the amount of spell slots and prepared spells.

Since area-effect wizards are currently better than single-target damage wizards, then it stands to reason that they need to see some parity.
Monk class features are the same as they were in 3.5
Barbarian gained a few things, but it doesnt make it more complete than Rogue or Fighter
Fighter especially seems like it gained the most amount of class features compared to his 3.5 version, and is to me much more complete than Barbarian or Monk

Wizard gains spells as class features



That's part of my point. Why is that acceptable? If you have two wizards with entirely different spell lists, what is it that makes them both wizards? Spell preparation? Having a spellbook? Why do all Monks have the ability to Flash Step around punching dudes with Meteoric Silver-Adamantine Magical fists, whether or not the character is based on Jackie Chan, Chun Li, or Naruto Uzumaki, but two wizards have virtually nothing in common after level one besides having "wizard" at the top of their character sheet?

That's what I mean. The class should have at least a handful of features that unify them and give the class an identity. In 4th edition, Fighters only got three class features, but each of them exemplified what it meant to be a Fighter. DDN Wizards should have something similar.
Before status effects are introduced, I feel that the current status effects need to be rebalanced and clarified. I totally support something like a disarming mechanic in a spell (slippery grease spray!), but currently, disarming a weapon has no negative consequences. According to the current combat rules, reaching down and picking up your dropped weapon can be performed as part of your action.

Similarly, being knocked prone only consumes 5 feet of movement, which is hardly a penalty at all.

I think the wizard should be versatile to do whatever the player wants to do. If he wants to do major single-target damage, he should be able to. Area-effects, sure. Conditions, sure. Utilities, Some combination of the previous, sure. The only limitation should be the amount of spell slots and prepared spells.

Since area-effect wizards are currently better than single-target damage wizards, then it stands to reason that they need to see some parity.



The weapon can also be picked up as part of my action.  I can also imagine a spell which 'electifies' the weapon so that they take damage if they hold it or try to pick it up before the end of my next turn.  Or grease might make it too slippery to use for that time.  Even a variation of the old spell Heat Metal whicih makes it too hot to touch.

Knocked prone consuming only 5' of movement doesn't bother men much.  I always thought it silly that it took my entire move in 4E.  Perhaps there is a middle ground, however.  Maybe it consumes half of your movement.

Regardless  - that was my reasoning behind suggesting that different spells might have different damage values/ dice depending on how powerful the status effect is.  A weaker status effect might do a bit more damage (I'm still thinking a single die - but different die sizes for different spells) while a stronger status effect could do less or no damage.

Carl
A Wizard should NOT deal as much damage as a melee fighter, the biggest difference being that melee comes with the innate risk of being in the front lines, taking all the damage

Wizards at will damage should be around slightly less than what a ranged fighter or ranged rogue can output, as they carry the same reduced risks as you do

Next Wizard at will damage should be LESS then them, because their primary task should be AoE damage and utility from using powerful limited usage spells, and they are still the kings of AoE damage

The problem is not exactly that wizards aren't hitting hard enough, its that melee damage is too high at the moment




Mele damage is too high!  Yeah!!! Martial Damage dice makes a 1st level DnDN PC the equal of a 3rd or 4th level PC in 2nd ed.... and sometimes in 3rd edition as well.
Monk class features are the same as they were in 3.5
Barbarian gained a few things, but it doesnt make it more complete than Rogue or Fighter
Fighter especially seems like it gained the most amount of class features compared to his 3.5 version, and is to me much more complete than Barbarian or Monk

Wizard gains spells as class features



That's part of my point. Why is that acceptable? If you have two wizards with entirely different spell lists, what is it that makes them both wizards? Spell preparation? Having a spellbook? Why do all Monks have the ability to Flash Step around punching dudes with Meteoric Silver-Adamantine Magical fists, whether or not the character is based on Jackie Chan, Chun Li, or Naruto Uzumaki, but two wizards have virtually nothing in common after level one besides having "wizard" at the top of their character sheet?

That's what I mean. The class should have at least a handful of features that unify them and give the class an identity. In 4th edition, Fighters only got three class features, but each of them exemplified what it meant to be a Fighter. DDN Wizards should have something similar.


That is suppose to be the benefit of the class, the large amount of customization

It even goes to compare the classes based on ease to make the class

Barbarian being the easiest to make, Wizard being the one that needs the most intelligence to make it

I rather more classes have more variation in customization than less, the Wizard should be seen as the benchmark, not the exception
Meaning classes should move to being more like Wizard, not Wizard move to being more like other classes